The prolific Black Corton set the ball rolling with his latest success over fences at Cheltenham on Friday.
He has now won nine times for us in the past eighteen months including five of his last six races over fences. We will give him one more run before his winter holiday but Alcala, another of our multiple winners, will have a break now after performing below par on Saturday and was blatantly over the top. Movewiththetimes ran a race full of promise in finishing fourth on his debut over fences. He should improve enormously for the experience.
As De Mee more than justified the long trip to Kelso on Saturday with a decisive victory in the £14,000 Limited Handicap over three and a quarter miles. The way he was keeping on in the closing stages encourages me to aim him at next year’s Grand National. More immediately he is bang on course for a return to Aintree for the Becher Chase over three and a quarter miles early in December.
Le Prezien ran a stormer at Cheltenham on Saturday, travelling and jumping well and showing plenty of pace in only just failing to catch the leader Foxtail Hill in the Randox Health Handicap Chase over two miles. I’d say it was a career best by Le Prezien and we will see how he comes out of the race before making a plan for him.
An across the card double on Sunday maintained the fine form of the team with Mr Mix winning well at Wincanton with the help of an excellent, patient ride by Harry Cobden and Posh Trish making a successful debut for us in the closing mares bumper after a steward’s inquiry. Post Trish is a lovely mare who stuck her head down and tried her heart out when it briefly looked like Grageelagh Girl had her measure. She will go hurdling now. I think it was only right that she got the race after being carried left handed across the course by Grageelagh Girl during a long duel as there was only a nose in it at the line.
I can’t leave Sunday’s action without saying a big well done to my niece Amy Derham for winning the charity flat race at Wincanton in the colours of Ditcheat Thoroughbreds. Amy is a lovely girl who lives locally and has been working hard on her fitness in recent weeks as well as riding out for us every morning. As much as anything I think she was thrilled to beat her brother Harry Derham who rode plenty of winners as a conditional and is now my assistant trainer.
We will be having runners this week ahead of a busy weekend with our horses in action at Wetherby, Ascot and Carlisle.
For the up to date news on my weekend runners please turn to my Betfair column early on Friday evening.